After well over a decade in pursuit of recreating this iconic headgear item from WWII, what was but a figment of personal passion and fancy can now be enjoyed by all like-minded enthusiasts of classic American style from the good old days. The navy blue ball cap was very popular item of headgear with Navy and Marine aviators of WWII, as well as with naval submarine and PT Boat officers, and just about any other officer of the fleet who could get their hands on these caps. Wartime photos and films reveal the caps being worn on duty or off duty, but the general public may better associate these caps with leading actors in classic Hollywood war films, where John Wayne can be seen wearing this cap style in no less than four films: “They Were Expendable,” “Flying Leathernecks,” “Operation Pacific,” and “In Harm’s Way.” Even the affable Henry Fonda and Jack Lemmon sport these blue ball caps in the classic comedic drama “Mister Roberts.” As commonplace as these caps once were, today vintage examples are all but impossible to find, largely because they were readily worn even after the war and simply perished through natural attrition.
The early caps were simply baseball caps purchased at PXs found on any naval bases or installations, but later caps were an actual item of issue produced in three different colors, including navy blue, complete with an official stock number and illustration in the Naval Aviator’s Clothing Catalog of 1945.
We’ve elected to reproduce the actual issue cap of the USN, complete with the printed spec. label with contract and spec. data. No authentic detail has been over looked, which includes making sure the original form-fitting skull shape is retained. No components of this cap exist today, so every piece of our cap, from cloth to hardware, was custom made to our exacting specifications. The cap is produced from a lightweight, worsted-wool flannel in navy blue with the crown having the correct six-piece construction which helps tailor the shape to a close, form-hugging fit. Please note these other authentic details found only on a true vintage cap of the 1940s that clearly distinguish our copy from any contemporary ball cap on the market:
- Custom-made, high-quality all-wool flannel fabric dyed navy blue
- Six-piece crown with cloth-covered center button
- Horsehide leather sweatband zigzag stitched to cap, exactly as found on vintage examples
- Custom-made cotton fabric that backs the under side of the visor
- Reinforced inside seams with black all-cotton tape
- Hessian fabric employed as a backing to maintain shape of the two front panels, exactly as found on vintage examples
- Four rows of reinforcing stitching on the visor, exactly as found on vintage examples
- Metal ventilation grommets painted black, exactly as found on vintage examples
Available in sizes 7 – 7 1/2. Please see our SIZING TIPS for advice on how to get the correct fit.
Imported from England
WWII USN/USMC Blue Ball Cap
About this Style: These caps are available in sizes 7, 7 1/8, 7 ¼, 7 3/8, & 7 ½. The fit runs true to your measured head size as converted to a cap size.
Tip 1: Measure your head circumference following the instructions found under the tab BODY MEASURING on this web site.
Tip 2: Covert your head measure to a cap size as found on the above-referenced tab link on this web site.
Tip 3: Order your corresponding cap size as converted from the head-measuring exercise found on this web site. For example: If your head measures 22 ¾”, which converts to size 7 ¼, order size 7 ¼. If you measure in between sizes, we suggest always rounding your head measure up to the larger size, but only you can determine this subjective area of fit.
If you are unsure of the size to order we will assist you; please contact us with your head measure as derived from the instructions and diagram found under the tab for BODY MEASURING on this web site.